We are in the business of supporting 'free spirits' to unfold. Freedom to move, freedom to think, freedom to make decisions, freedom to be oneself. Freedom to live. Children need to be surrounded by people who allow them to throb with their own signature, to be real. We want children to develop that strong sense of self. That ability to look in the mirror and be comfy in their own skin.
"As I began to love myself, I found that anguish and emotional suffering are warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know this is authenticity" - Charlie Chaplin (As I began to love myself)
We as adults also need to be comfy in our own skin. That means that we need to be ourselves, to be true to who we are rather than meeting the needs of who others would like us to be. We need to be authentic. Ahh, another one of those buzz words, what does it mean? According to Brené Brown authentic means we let go of what we are supposed to be and embrace who we are. Authenticity is about being real, about being honest, about letting our true selves be seen. It’s about living and loving wholeheartedly. This is SO important when working with children as it effects on ‘how’ we are with children.
'Authenticity' is purely about being SURE of who you are and BOLD enough not to dilute the real YOU!
This is harder than you think. We are often 'so' worried by what 'others think about us', what we are doing and saying, or not doing and saying. We worry about what we think they think we should be doing or saying! The mind stories that we create and the constant 'mind chatter' generated from these stories can drive us to 'be' and act very inauthentically, to not be our true selves.
Standing in our own truth often means we may be misunderstood but in the long run having the courage to do so benefits all.
Every situation has a wider unseen context and at times we allow our inner 'stories' to influence our actions and drive us to 'react' rather than 'respond' authentically. When we consider our role as teachers, it is crucial that we are authentic and continue to bring 'awareness' to our thoughts. Our 'state' is downloaded by our children moment by moment, so it is moment by moment that we need to be aware of our thoughts.
Authenticity is an inside job and it is those that believe in themselves and have the 'guts' to go for it, to TRY new things, to give it a go that go places.
Think about the vibe that is being created in your place. The good old gut is rather surprising when we take a closer look. Science has shown us that the brain is not the sole 'seat' of communication systems in our body. The heart also has its own intelligence and now science reveals that the intestines also have another level of functioning aside from breaking down food, absorbing nutrients and getting rid of waste. The guts actually has an 'emotional' brain and responds to our thoughts. Our 'gut feelings' reflect how this amazing, complex, often undervalued organ, is a vital part of our body's marvelous communication network. Intuition, the ability we all have, one that we must open up to though and use on a daily basis, listen to not only our head, and heart, but also those gentle 'gut' feelings.
We have a choice to INNOVATE or EVAPORATE!
Our dream is for children to bounce away with a spring in their step and a deep inner knowing that they are a free and equal human being. It is the same for us as teachers. We too want to be respected and treated with kindness. We too want to bounce away with light in our eyes and fire in our belly. Do we have a lack of drive and are we just surviving or do we spark on all sides and are we thriving? In our teams we have a choice to be authentic active and to innovate or to be poisonous passive and to evaporate!
Imagine the difference if we were indeed 'doing' the very thing that makes us thrive and alive? What if we, the adults, put more energy into the 'fields' in which the 'seeds' are growing and unfolding and tend to our own garden first before we tend to the children’s garden? Whatever we do, if we are authentic we are alive and then all who are around us catch the 'magic'!